Powerful Photo of Japan’s Religious Leaders Praying Together to End the Pandemic

Last month, Todai-ji temple, a Buddhist temple in Nara, Japan, unveiled a powerful initiative. They called on religious leaders and believers of all faiths across Japan to come together — not physically, but spiritually — for a daily prayer to end the global pandemic.

The powerful photo above is from one of those sessions, taking place at exactly high noon, in which religious leaders from many different faiths across Japan have gathered in front of Todai-ji Temple (maintaining social-distancing rules, we might add) to offer a prayer. The daily prayer will occur at 12 noon through May 31, 2020.

The photo strikes us as having all the elements of that iconic anime or movie scene when the truly powerful ones have finally taken the stage and things are about to get crazy. If COVID-19 were a movie, this is when the the tables turn.


  1. What religion or sect of Buddhism does each religious leader represent?

  2. The seven leaders represented:
    Koya-san Shingon sect of Buddhism,
    the Catholic parish in Osaka,
    Tamukeyama Hachimangu Shrine in Nara,
    Enshoji Temple in Hyogo, and Kinpusenji Temple in Nara,
    in addition to Sagawa Todaiji representative who both represent Kegon Buddhism,
    all sat two meters apart as they discussed the power of prayer in these difficult times.

    I feel a real journalist should have included this…

  3. It would be really great if the author let’s us know the sects or philosophies that each of the six represent.

  4. Undoubtedly, there are others praying whose doctrine and practice prohibit an appearance of public syncretism while still offering prayers for the good of the nation. I am one such, myself.

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